On Friday, a group called Jeffco United for Action began proceedings to recall Jeffco school district’s reform board members who have provided teachers raises, poor kids free kindergarten and other great benefits to the Jeffco community. At the same time, Jeffco United supporters insisted that this group was a parent effort, not associated with the union.
Too bad it is, in fact, the union that is behind this recall effort. Don’t believe us? Would you believe another of the union subgroups – Support Jeffco Kids? That’s right. One of the union’s own astroturf groups just outed the union’s key role in the recall effort.
See this press release below. Just in case Support Jeffco Kids takes its press release down, here’s a screen shot of the recall press release with Lynea Hansen’s name as the point of contact. In case you are not familiar with Lynea Hansen, she is a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Education Association and works for Strategies 360, which is the same firm that also is “helping” the union down in Douglas County. Small world.
If this group is all too willing to lie about this, what else are they willing to lie about? And, further, can the JCEA, which is in the middle of contract negotiations, really be negotiating in good faith if it’s simultaneously mounting a recall effort against the Board of Education?
Unions are a "for–profit" business that are destroying the education system. Imagine "tenure" applied anywhere else in life!
Kimberly Douglas 1) I am not anti-union. I am anti-coercion and anti-government union monopoly. 2) Professional teachers can have a voice without a monopoly labor union model. I agree with these teachers: http://www.aaeteachers.org/index.php/blog/1525-national-teacher-survey-demonstrates-support-for-labor-reforms. 3) Yes, I know a number of Jeffco teachers. They don't walk in lockstep. 4) I have seen the research on starting high school start times later, and would support the change. 5) You've mischaracterized the research on charters. The vast majority of recent studies using rigorous research methods show real positive (though not usually dramatic) gains. 6) The record of teacher incentive pay is weak and mixed. True performance pay has seldom been implemented, and little research is available. To say "all research points to DON'T DO IT" simply is not true. Here is just one example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/23/does-teacher-merit-pay-work-a-new-study-says-yes/. 7) I'm not into personal attacks, and happy to see that you don't appear to be other.
Niki Sims http://www.denverpost.com/portlet/article/html/imageDisplay.jsp?contentItemRelationshipId=7054496
Niki Sims not true DougCo still has a union just not a collective bargaining agreement and the union teachers are very much the cause of disruption in schools there
I would argue that the demise of unions is the death of the middle class… Corporate profits are at an all time high and salaries are about as low as they were before Roosevelt took the big stick to the monopolie
And your proof of this decline in Jeffco is…. nothing, you have nothing.
WNW are not on their own agenda. It is imported from out of state resources. It is a well planned agenda but it if not theirs.
I am an employer in Jefferson county.I am a taxpayer in Jefferson County. My property taxes run over $50k per year. I and sick and tired of this board which is funded by and controlled by out state interests. Everyone I see these outright lies I will write another check in support of the recall effort. I will circulate a petition for the recall. I will vote in the recall to take back out education future.
Pete Bonner You don't have to be pro-union to be anti-Witt, Williams and Newkirk. You coul just not want a Board full of unqualified hacks pushing a political agenda. Ken Witt publicly calling a minor out for "racial epithets", identifying her by name and refusing her the floor at the board meeting at which she was scheduled to speak. Note: All the student had done was favorite a tweet that said a burrito vendor would be appreciated at prior long-running board meeting. That's not racist and it wasn't even her tweet, but publicly identifying her and accusing her of racism is against board policy either way. My thoughts on that have nothing to do with my own personal politics or my thoughts on unions.
Want another example? During the student protests, Julie Williams very vocally said the students shouldn't be out of class protesting during school hours, in reaction to her APUSH review/revision proposal. For the sake of argument, let's assume the union is as guilty as you say, and that the JCEA had enough influence over students to coerce them into protesting. Even if that's what you believe, you don't have to support Williams later publicly posting a link about an event sponsored by a known hate group, which urged parents to keep their students home from school in protest of a gay rights demonstration. You could very well be anti-union and still think that sends an intensely destructive message of hate to our district's students, especially if they're LGBT students themselves or were sympathetic to the anti-bullying message of the event Ms. Williams' link decried. But even if you are as intensely anti-gay as you are anti-union, and you somehow believe parents should have kept their kids home if there was a chance they may have encountered an LGBT-sympathetic demonstrator at school that day, you could still find fault in her apparently hypocritical stance that students shouldn't protest during class when they're protesting against her ideals, but should stay home in protest of things that go against her ideals. And finally, if you believe her that she was posting a link she hadn't even read and was truly sorry, you could still find yourself wondering why she should be considered fit to hold her position if she doesn't bother to read the things she shares before deciding parents would want to see them, and doesn't consider the ramifications of her actions. It's not ok for a student to like a tweet that mentions a burrito, because that is racist, but it IS ok to post about activities organized by hate groups as a member of the board?
You could be anti-union, and you could still be upset when Ken Witt, who ran on a campaign of transparency, said he'd never sent or received district-related correspondence from personal email accounts, even though several examples of exactly such correspondence was found. (source: http://co.chalkbeat.org/2014/10/17/witts-missing-emails-point-to-possible-flaw-in-state-open-records-laws/#.VZHOmO1VhHx) In fact, if you don't support Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential run, you probably like to cite her personal email activity as a sign of her dishonesty. So couldn't you be a republican, and be against that kind of dishonesty in the local school board as well? Couldn't you be republican and hold the same thoughts toward Julie Williams' apparent attempts to skirt open-records rules by urging people to talk to her via text instead of her email account that is subject to CORA requests? (source: http://co.chalkbeat.org/2014/10/20/jeffco-board-member-we-need-more-guidance-on-open-records/#.VZHOX-1VhBc)
I could go on and on with other atrocities, but for now, let's cut the hypothetical nonsense about whether Tory's actually republican, actually pro-union, or whether the two are always in direct conflict. I am a parent. I'm currently registered as an independent. I'm not a teacher. I am not a union member. My wife and I bought our house in this district so our kids would have access to the same level of public education she had. I support our democratic process that elected this board, but I also recognize that much of our district didn't vote in the last school board elections, that a majority of our district's voters don't have kids in the public school system, and that many people weren't informed about how our district was actually performing at the time. In short, I believe the community made a mistake in electing these three, and in such a situation, the only check in place to balance the power of the board majority is a recall. These three ran campaigns funded by political interest groups, with slogans like "the conservative choice for JeffCo," under the pretense of transparency, and they've accused teachers and even parents of putting politics before students, whenever anyone disagrees with them. In a situation like that, asking the voting public to look at this from all angles and re-evaluate is the only card we as tax-payers are left to play.
Can someone please explain this supposed "smoking gun"??? Maybe you need a different title for this??? Or maybe a document that actually does what your title says it does??? I don't see how this is evidence that JCEA is behind the recall. Maybe you should actually talk to the PARENTS who initiated the recall, instead of fabricating dead-end leads.
Well, Billy, at least you know how to present a mature, fact based argument, unlike us silly "babies". Wait, has any of us called you a name here? No? Strange… As for you Pete, I'm tired of people who have ZERO background in education thinking that they, and not teachers & educators, should be running the show and making all the decisions. Witt? Zero background. Newkirk? Zero background. Williams? Zero background. What's your background in education? You think you can fly my plane because you were a passenger on one years ago? What agenda is it, exactly, that JCEA has pushed into our education system? And where is the evidence of this bribing?
Ben DeGrow Can you give 3 evidence-based arguments for your "JCEA=Bad" mentality? I'm seeing a lot of anti-union sentiment from people who seem to have little to no clue what JCEA does, except that they are a union and "all unions must be bad". So, are all corporations "bad"? Therefore we should get rid of them? Do you have any sort of regular interaction with the teachers & educators who ARE JCEA? "Let's see if you can share…without launching into personal attacks" – Sounds like you actually want people to personally attack you so you can feel superior to them. That's interesting. Seems you are less invested in connecting with people, and more invested in simply "winning". I'm invested in educating kids. But I want a voice in my profession. Are you an educator? Have you taken any classes in educational methods/theory/philosophy/research? Many people believe that, even though they have never taught, they know how it all works. That they could do better. "Thinking you know how to teach because you've been a student in a classroom is like thinking you can pilot a plane because you've been a passenger." There are many challenges in the field of education. There are many complex issues that need to be addressed. But excluding the voices of EXPERTS in this field is a surefire way to crash your plane. And trying to push reforms that are the antithesis of "research-based" & "data-driven" is not the answer. You want a better education for our kids? Why aren't you asking why our high schools start an hour and fifteen minutes before the time recommended by the American Medical Association??? Research-based. Data driven. Charters? Research is inconclusive AT BEST. Merit pay for teachers? All research points to – DON'T DO IT.
Well said, Tony!!!
This is so hateful and dishonest. Hopefully people do their own research and don't just believe what they're told
So let me understand this, one side derides the "liberal Union thugs" teachers who probably make on average $60k a year and the other side is funded and associated with the Independence Instituite, Americans for Prosperity, ALEC and the multi-billion dollars Koch brothers, that's about all I need to know when considering who's agenda I need to be more concerned about…
Pete Bonner what do you mean union thugs? I've been called a lot of things in life, but thug has never been one of them. All we want is for a school board that respects the needs of ALL students, does not cater solely to the charter school movement, and respects the necessity of teachers to at least be awarded a COLA increase in our salaries. Giving us big raises, REALLY? A 3% pay cut in 2009 that us UNION THUGS agreed to in order to save necessary programs with the understanding that when the money returned we'd get our pay restored and given adequate COLA raises afterwards. The new board majority ignored this MOU, ignored the tentative agreement last spring, ignored a independent fact finder and then offered us a gigantic 2.4% pay increase (not even a COLA).
I read the term "libtards" the other day, what about instead concerned parents!!!
Did I understand you to say you are
⦿ Conservative Republican,
⦿ You support labor unions?
☛☛☛ I Say BLUFF !!!!
So true. I think most of us are growing tired of union thugs pushing their agendas into our education systems and bribing their way into government.
✔ Ben, all great points.
I very much support the JeffCo & DougCo boards.
Dougco does not have a union in place and according to statistics on the CDE webiste, their scores are dropping across the board except in one area. It does not look good…check it out! The union does not determine curriculum. They ensure schools have small class sizes, teachers are given sick leave and have time to plan together. Perhaps there is a way the two sides can come together and focus on kids.
Ben DeGrow : The Superintendent makes 80,000$ more a year than Cindy Stevenson, that is a fact. She had a PhD, he has a Masters Degree. The school board hired an attorney for the school board and has paid him over 90,000$. A fact. The school board gave a 500,000$ loan to a failing charter school ( Collegiate Academy). The school board is giving teachers with over 6 years experience aprox. a 1% raise or COLA this year…an average of 38-40$ per teacher per month. The school district has a curriculum review board in place right now, always has. Why did they want to create a new one to look at AP history? The Current AP history curriculum is reviewed by a nationally recognized college/university board to make sure all schools in the country meet certain standards. Had they changed the curriculum, The AP tests students would have taken, would not have been accepted by colleges…but they possibly would have been accepted at private schools. I have witnessed all of these discussions by watching the school board meetings. If you don't believe me, you can listen to them yourself. Go to the the Jeffco schools homepage and find the school board information. All recordings are there.
Ben DeGrow The board denied full time kindergarten to the districts most neediest students/schools. As a result the lost out on a 5 million dollar grant. I watched the board meeting where and when this occurred.
What are your top 2 or 3 evidence-based arguments for recalling the board members?
Like so many government unions around country they are losing power and now acting like little babies. Since unions have been in schools education has declined.
WOW, Scott – one would think they weren't even, ya know – elected or something? Or was voting blocked or somekind of vile "irregularities" were involved? And you didn't beong it up last year?
Otherwise, I detect a whining agenda – nothing really substantive: "I didn't get my way!…" right.
What an assanine and baseless " story" this Registered Republican is all for recalling these reactionary board members.
To suggest that you are not associated with the union in any way and that in light of the true facts associated with this issue you still fully support the recall effort, using scripted talking points and lies, does not speak well for you or your cause. You've made one thing crystal clear, your minds are made up and you don't wish to be confused with the facts: It's bliss!!!
Except that so much of the information being used to attack these board members you don't like is misleading and inaccurate. (See especially claims about superintendent salary; full-day kindergarten, though there are others.) Let's see if you can share your top 3 evidence-based arguments for a recall without launching into personal attacks.
Scott, you would serve your cause better if you stop repeating the false talking point about full-day kindergarten. For the first time in Jeffco history, all low-income families are eligible for free FDK, not dependent on which school they attend. Further, through student-based budgeting, individual principals and SACs can make additional FDK a priority as they see fit. I'm also glad you aren't repeating the discredited rationale stated in the official press release: Claims of secrecy; exaggerated and misleading comparisons of superintendent salaries; or the imaginary push for censorship.
Does matter the board needs to go
You are REALLY reaching for that union angle aren't you? Like Wendy said we are parents and community members and these are OUR concerns. This is about Witt, Newkirk and Williams working on their own agenda while failing to listen to input from parents, community members, teachers and students. It's about them failing to expand full day kindergarten while sending funds to a financially unstable charter school. It's about Witt's continual disrespect of anyone who is not a male conservative, including any students who disagree with him. It's about Williams promoting hate against LGTB students and her ability to only talk about right-wing extremist talking points while showing off her ignorance of anything related to education. It's about Newkirk going out of his way to publicly shame a Jeffco high school student with false outrage. This is about Witt, Newkirk and Williams failing Jeffco.
Beg to differ, but I am one of the three PARENTS who are "behind" the recall efforts. We don't find this issue funny at all, and though it takes a village, we are most decidedly NOT a part of JCEA. We are concerned parents, business owners and community members. Does this effort include teachers? Of COURSE it does. A strong public education system MUST include teachers in ALL ASPECTS. But, the perpetual blaming of "the union" for all efforts to bring to light the truth regarding Witt, Newkirk and Williams is getting old & tired. There are far more people against WNW than for them.